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Kaur Singh

Kaur Singh
Khanal Khurd, Sangrur, East Punjab, India
Died (aged 74)
Medal record
Men's amateur boxing
Representing  India
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1982 New Delhi Heavyweight
Asian Championships
Gold medal – first place 1980 Heavyweight

Kaur Singh (Punjabi: ਕੌਰ ਸਿੰਘ; 1948/1949 – 27 April 2023) was an Indian heavyweight champion boxer from Punjab. Singh won three gold medals for senior national boxing championship, Asian Boxing Championship and Asian Games.[1][2][3]

Early life

Singh was born in a Jat Sikh Family of village Khanal Khurd in Sangrur, Punjab's Malwa region. He was a small-time farmer before joining the Indian army in 1973 as havildar at the age of 23 where he participated in the India-Pakistan war; and was awarded Sena Medal for his bravery and received the Vishisht Sewa Medal in 1988.[4]

Boxing career

In 1979, Singh won a gold medal at the senior national boxing championship and remained the holder of the gold medal for four years till 1983.[5]

In 1980, Singh won a gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championship in Mumbai.[6]

In 1982, Singh won a gold medal at the heavyweight category Asian Games held at New Delhi, in the same year he got the Arjuna Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.[7][8]

In 1983, the Government of India awarded Singh with the Padma Shri award for outstanding contribution to Indian sports.[9]

Singh retired from boxing career in 1984 after participating and representing India in the Los Angeles Olympics where he won two bouts, but was defeated in the third match.[citation needed]

Fighting against Muhammad Ali

On 27 January 1980, Singh fought at Delhi's National Stadium against Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match of four-rounds. "Us de mukke bahut hi dumdar si (His punches had great power). I clearly remember that jab, his famous jab. It seemed to come out of nowhere. He used his right hand to block my punches, and his counterpunch to hit me. His speed was amazing; not once during those four rounds did the speed drop. He was shorter than me but his ring craft and movement took him out of my reach," said Singh.[10]


Singh died on 27 April 2023, at the age of 74.[11]


A biopic film of Singh, Padma Shri Kaur Singh, was slated to release in 2020, with producer Karam Batth playing Singh. The film highlighted apathy of governments in releasing the prize money they announced.[12][13][14] Film release was delayed due to COVID-19 and then due to clash with other film releases in 2022. Karam Batth in an interview said "It was supposed to release on July 8 but the makers of Shareek 2 shifted its release date to the same Friday. I was fine with it as both the films are quite different. But then team Sohreyan Da Pind Aa Gaya also announced its release date on the same day, which made us postpone ours to July 22."[15]

Exhibition boxing record

1 fight 0 wins 0 losses
Non-scored 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
1 0–0 (1) United States Muhammad Ali 4 27 Jan 1980 India National Stadium, New Delhi, India Non-scored bout


  1. ^ "Here's the unheard story of Kaur Singh, the farmer from Punjab who fought Muhammad Ali". Business Insider.
  2. ^ "How the Army Rushed to the Rescue of a Forgotten Boxing Hero - Twice!". The Better India. 20 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Forgotten Boxing hero Kaur Singh raising loan from money lenders for medical treatment". India Today.
  4. ^ "Arjuna Award". The Times of India.
  5. ^ "कभी बॉक्सर मोहम्मद अली से किया था मुकाबला, अब जी रहे ऐसे बदहाली की जिंदगी". Dainik Bhaskar (in Hindi). 13 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Kaur Singh, a gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championship in 1980". The Tribune (Chandigarh).
  7. ^ "The untold story of Kaur Singh – A forgotten Indian boxer who fought Muhammad Ali".
  8. ^ "Heavyweight boxing champ Kaur Singh recalls fight with Zorawar Muhammed Ali". SBS PopAsia.
  9. ^ "Boxer Kaur Singh: The forgotten hero who fought Muhammad Ali". The Bridge. 25 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Indian boxer recalls fight with 'shahenshah'". The Indian Express. 22 July 2016.
  11. ^ Boxing champion Kaur Singh passes away after multiple health problems
  12. ^ "Padma Shri Kaur Singh's Biopic On Cards; He Was The Only Indian Boxer To Fight Muhammad Ali". KoiMoi.
  13. ^ "Biopic of only Indian boxer who fought Muhammad Ali in the pipeline". Zee News.
  14. ^ "Now, film on Indian boxer who faced Ali". Mumbai Mirror.
  15. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Karam Batth brings out the story of Padma Shri Kaur Singh, the legendary Punjabi boxer". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
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Kaur Singh
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